The coronavirus pandemic has plagued the world for over a year. As the SaRS-CoV-2 virus spread, so did the confusion. Governing bodies had to deal with a totally new situation, one that has no parallel in human history. Nobody knew for sure what kind of measures to introduce and how to control them. Similar chaos arose in the selection of appropriate protective devices. The majority of countries were not prepared for a pandemic of this magnitude and strength.
Czechs know how to make cloth masks, but also magic nanofibers
Czechs behaved in an exemplary way. Half of the nation sat behind their sewing machines and made cloth masks. The nanotechnology companies reacted just as quickly, with them able to fully demonstrate the unique benefits of their special
fabrics this spring. While the whole world stood in line for protective devices from Asia, in the University of Liberec in the north of the Czech Republic, the centre of the nanotechnology industry, they quickly created a production line for nanofiber filters. These could be inserted into the pockets of regular cloth masks and were subsequently distributed to medical staff and other front line workers.
This scenario took place a year ago. During the course of the pandemic, Europe came to the
conclusion that cloth masks don’t help in the fight against Covid-19. As a result, in the first quarter of 2021, the majority of European countries accepted th
e need to replace cloth masks and common medical masks with respirators or nanofiber masks.
Within this context, there are a plethora of protective devices with various filtration features on the world market. When purchasing them, it is very important to check the so-called FFP (Filtering Face Piece) class, which indicates the level of provided protection. FFP1/ KN95 respirators The filtration ability of FFP1 respirators provides the lowest possible protection. They protect the wearer from inhaling non-toxic and n
on-fibrogenic dust. Such respirators protect against lung disease and are suitable for home DIY, joiners or workers in the construction or food industries. FFP1 respirators filter at least 80% of aerosols (air particles) up to 600 nm (nanometers) in size. However, the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus ranges between 80 to 120 nm. The filtration ability of FFP1 respirators therefore provides totally unsatisfactory protection against viruses and bacteria. The lowest category of protection also includes Chinese protective devices marked as KN95, which are sometimes wrongly believed to be equivalent to the intermediate filtration ability of FFP2 respirators. KN95 respirators are tested only for solid particles. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is especially transmitted through droplets, i.e. liquid particles, for which this type of protective device has not been tested.
FFP2/ N95 respirators
Respirators marketed as FFP2 protect their users from solid and liquid dusts, fumes, aerosols and powdered chemicals. The filtration ability of interm
ediate grade protective devices is 94%. Such respirators are used in the foundry, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The quoted filtration ability refers to particles measuring 600 nm in size. However, the virus that causes Covid-19 can be 6-times smaller. Even though the majority of international bodies, including WHO, recommend this level of filtration, it is not sufficient. Unfortunately, less scrupulous manufacturers have fraudulently sold products with supposed FFP2-level filtration abilities. They have circumvented the norm by simply using the FFP2 designation in the name of their products. As a buyer of protective devices, it is therefore important to always ask for a relevant certificate.
Protective semi-masks with FFP3 filtration ability prevent the penetration of particles that are 600 nm in size with 99% efficiency. Manufacturers declare that products classified as such protect the user’s airways from infectious and viral diseases. However, this class of respirator also does not provide 100% protection against the dangerous virus that has been plaguing and paralyzing the world for a second year. Such respirators are used especially by healthcare professionals on Covid-19 wards and other workers who move in risky environments.
Respirators with exhalation valves
Not even respirators with exhalation valves are successful in the fight against the coronavirus
infection. This type of protective device only protects the wearer. The exhaled air travels via the exhalation valve. Although the valv
e makes breathing easier for the user by removing humidity and heat, the exhaled air does not pass through an exhalation filter. This means that if the user is infected with the virus, they exhale it without it being inhibited in any way.
Respirators and masks made of nanofiber
With regards to the fact that at this point in time protective devices should protect wearers from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, manufacturers should state filtering efficiency for particles measuring 100 nm in size. After all, this is the average size of a coronavirus. If international bodies accepted this fact, only a handful of protective mas
ks would meet the requirements. We would therefore not be talking about common respirators anymore, but only about nanofiber protective devices. Such devices include the Nanovia Mask 99.97, with test results showing it to be the best nano mask in the world.
Nanovia 99.97 - the only nano mask that reliably protects against SARS-CoV-2
The Nanovia Mask 99.97 guarantees 99.97% efficacy against the coronavirus. Jiří Stich, spokesperson for Nano2Health, explains the differences in effectiveness of protective devices.
“The manufacturers of ordinary fabric protective devices often guarantee up to 99% filtering effectiveness. However, this information applies to bacteria, not to viruses. The difference in size between bacteria and viruses can be illustrated in terms of a football, which represents bacteria, and a table tennis ball, which represents a virus. If a football net represents a typical surgical mask, then this net safely catches a football, but allows a table tennis ball to easily pass through. In other words, masks that are made of standard materials are simply not designed to catch anything smaller than a football.”
The strengths of nanofiber protective devices and why they are better than cloth ones will be
discussed next time.